please let me know if there are any alternatives for discussion board in sharepoint!
what's the type of customization can be achieved in the current boring discussion board?
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In SharePoint Server, the NewsFeed is a great discussion collaboration option. In NewsFeed, you can use @ to mention users and to add # hashtag like twitter style.
Check the main difference between NewsFeed and Discussion board at
In case, you have Office 365 subscription, you can use Yammer or team news, communication site as social collaboration options,